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Roane County mayor issues mask mandate as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise

"I hope the community will take this order without causing more division among our citizens."

Roane County's mayor has issued a mask mandate as cases and deaths rise in the county.

All residents in the county will be required to wear face coverings or masks when in a public space or county-owned buildings.

Mayor Ron Woody issued the mandate Monday to take effect immediately, saying it will expire December 29 unless Governor Bill Lee extends his executive order allowing county leaders to issue the mandates. 

"I hope the community will take this order without causing more division among our citizens. I hope no law enforcement will be needed due to this order," Woody said.

Roane County joins other rural counties such as Claiborne and Grainger counties in issuing a mask mandate as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise to record levels across the state.

There are exceptions to the mandate, listed below:

  • Within a person's own home or automobile, unless transporting others for hire
  • Children 12 years old or younger
  • People who have trouble due to an underlying health condition or another medical reason
  • People who incapacitated or unable to remove the facial covering without assistance
  • While eating or drinking
  • While outdoors unless the person cannot maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person's family members
  • While working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person's family is maintained
  • In situations in which wearing, a face-covering poses a security or safety risk
  • While in a house of worship, unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face-covering is strongly encouraged
  • While in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election, but wearing a facial covering at voting locations is strongly encouraged